A calendar of the Arts in 1997

James Aufenast selects the most promising events of the year ahead. Mark them in your diaries, or miss out

JANUARY

Visual Arts: "Braque: the late works". Still lives with more scraps of newsprint than even Picasso could muster. Royal Academy (23).

Theatre: The Homecoming. Roger Michell revives Pinter's classic family drama, with Lindsay Duncan. National Theatre (23).

Opera: Palestrina. Long-awaited British stage premiere of Hans Pfitzner's 1917 epic about the Renaissance composer and the redeeming power of music. Thomas Moser stars, Nikolaus Lehnhoff directs. Royal Opera House (28).

FEBRUARY

Comedy: Jack Dee and Sandra Bernhard head up Leicester's comedy fest - the biggest and best in the UK. Various venues (7-16)

Classical: Pierre Boulez opens R3's pre-Millennial "Sounding the Century" project, conducting Stravinsky's Rite with the BBC SO. RFH, SBC, London (16).

Theatre: Ivanov. 1997 is Ralph Fiennes's year, starting with this rare piece of Chekhov, directed by Jonathan Kent in a reprise of the partnership that gave us the Hackney Hamlet. Almeida, London (18).

MARCH

Classical: Mstislav Rostropovich marks his 70th birthday with five concerts with the LSO. Barbican Hall, London (8, 11, 13, 16, 25).

Film: Ondaatje's English Patient would seem unfilmable, were it not for Ralph Fiennes (again) and Kristin Scott-Thomas.(14).

Theatre: King Lear. Ian Holm braves the storm, Sir Richard Eyre directs. National Theatre (27).

Book: Blake Morrison's As If. More family matters from the author of the tender memoir, When Did You Last See Your Father?.

APRIL

Opera: The Damnation of Faust. People will persist in trying to stage Berlioz's unstageable Faustian fantasy. This time it's the turn of American maverick, David Alden. London Coliseum (7).

Visual Arts: "The Object in British Art of the Eighties and Nineties". Shorthand for "inaccessible". Works by Hirst, Whiteread, Kapoor. Hayward Gallery, London.

Dance: Ricochet Dance. Unusually, run by dancers. Including work from award-winning Javier De Frutos. QEH, London.

MAY

Opera: Tannhauser. Paul Daniel bids farewell to Opera North (en route to ENO) with Wagner's magical mystery tour around the Mons Veneris. Leeds Grand (3).

Musical: The Fix. New musical by John Dempsey, echoing Assassins in its shooting down of US politics. Donmar Warehouse, London.

Opera: Verdi Festival. Royal Opera House, London.

Pop: The Fugees. The Score was an original take on rap: you could listen to it. Fifties R&B mixed with De La Soul. Wembley Arena.

JUNE

Dance: Mark Morris's Edinburgh hit L'Allegro... comes to the ENO - at last London gets to see Mark Morris. Coliseum (5).

Visual Arts: Ellsworth Kelly. American colour-field work reminiscent of early modernists/New York school: quietly beautiful but spatially immense paintings. First major retrospective since the early 1980s. Tate.

Theatre: Amy's View. Richard Eyre directs Judi Dench in David Hare's latest. Royal National Theatre (20).

JULY

Visual Arts: Mondrian from the The Hague. Tate, London.

Dance: Kirov. Return of the St Petersburgers with a happily more varied programme including Don Quixote and a selection of Diaghilev ballets. Coliseum

Musical: Oklahoma. Oh, what a beautiful day (we hope). Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park (24).

Classical: James MacMillan. Innovative series celebrating innovative young Scots composer, including a sculpture collaboration. RFH/Barbican.

AUGUST

Visual Arts: John Singer Sargent. Many a flattering portrait of the English aristocracy including canvases on loan from the Musee D'Orsay and the Chicago Art Institute. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Festival: Galina Gorchakova, Bryn Terfel, Alfred Brendel, Pierre Boulez are expected, as are Lucia di Lammermoor with Charles Mackerras and Andrea Rost, Peter Stein with Chekhov and Stephane Braunschweig with Shakespeare.

SEPTEMBER

Visual Arts: James Ensor. Religious uncertainty, self-obsession and death. How cheerful. Major preoccupations now as well as at the end of the 19th century. Barbican, London.

Theatre: King Lear. Sir Peter Hall drives Alan Howard mad on the heath, in repertory with April de Angelis's revamp of Playhouse Creatures. Old Vic, London.

Film: Temptress Moon. Chen Kaige's follow-up to Farewell My Concubine. More flagellation of little boys expected.

OCTOBER

Dance: Cinderella. Blitz-style setting from Matthew Bourne and Adventures in Motion Pictures in a follow-up to their record-breaking Swan Lake. Piccadilly Theatre, London.

Visual Arts: British Symbolists as Part of a European Tradition. Ill- defined desire in Rossetti and sexuality in Beardsley never seemed quite British and here's confirmation. We've been twisted and European all along. Tate, London.

Turner Prize Exhibition: The shortlist on show. Tate, London.

NOVEMBER

Jazz: London Jazz Festival. Bringing the best jazz into the capital since Ronnie Scott's death. This year's theme: Austrian Jazz, with the Vienna Art Orchestra.

Visual Arts: Royal Glasgow 136th Annual Exhibition. Best of contemporary Scottish art. Watch out for the tartan. McClellan Galleries, Glasgow.

Classical: Schubert Song Festival. The bicentenary boy celebrated in a week of song-cycles. Imogen Cooper and Andreas Schmidt. RFH, SBC, London.

DECEMBER

Theatre: Chicago. Another musical at the Donmar; Sam Mendes directs, again. From the writers of Cabaret with a wittier book and fabulously brittle score.

Film: The Jetsons. Something to take your kids to at Christmas - or anyone else's. Peter Segal directs.

Visual Arts: Stanley Cursiter with rarely seen paintings of his Orkney homeland, interesting to compare with avant-garde versions of Edinburgh street life. Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.

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